Circumnavigated (Huh?)

Well we’ve circumnavigated. Not by boat. By plane. And it was painful. We’ve been sniffed by dogs, had full body scans, sat in a seat for hours, and listened to the drone of jet engines for more than a day. Honestly, hearing the wind in the sails is much more calming. Yeah, there are times on the boat when fecal material strikes fan blades. And just as fast it doesn’t last long. On Elysium we can move around, lounge as the conditions permit. We are not seat belted in when there are a few bumps, not restricted from using the commode because someone sitting up front controlling the planes turns on a light that flashes “stay in your seat”. Even in rough conditions we can read, listen to music or daydream or count sheep. Dolphins might follow us, whales swim near, birds often circle us; life flourishes around us. 10,000 meters up, in the great blue we see…. ideally…. nothing.

We’re back in Bali which we left 9 months ago. Back getting our life in order, looking to experience, feel the world again. Three days here and then we board a fast ferry across the straits to the Elysium. Elysium has been patiently waiting for our return. We’ve had a dehumidifier running in the boat to keep mildew and pests away. So… two more days and we’ll be home. Not aboard yet, but home.

There is work yet to do in getting Elysium back in the water. Clean and paint the bottom (this keeps growth off the hull), Lubricate the seacocks (these control the flow of water in and out of the boat). Flush the water maker. Restart the solar and bring the batteries back on line. Clean inside. Move deck gear back out of the boat. Rig the sails. Check the rig. Inflate and test the dinghy and engine. Maybe do maintenance on the windlass. Launch the boat. I look forward to the work. I look forward to being afloat again.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

Want to Cruise?

Shamless No self Promotion

Some of my friends, well, maybe many, think I am rather shameless. My nickname of Damn Dave is a moniker I wear with pride. It is with that knowledge I wish to point out this opportunity for any want to be cruisers.

Passport Tayana V42

This is not our boat. The back story is that one of our cruising friends has passed away. Early and unexpected. He and his wife had planned to head for the Bahamas this year. The boat is currently on the hard in Georgia and I can attest to the quality of care that has gone into it. The owner was an Electrical Engineer and anyone that knows an engineer understands how picky and methodical they are in maintaining mechanical things. This boat is in far superior shape for it’s age and been meticulously maintained. If someone is looking to, or thinking about cruising soon; consider this yacht.

As usual, I have no financial ownership in, nor receive any renumberation from the sale of this boat. I know the owner, I know the boat. I wish you all well.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

US Reflections


If you are a full time cruiser like I am, if you’ve been out on the oceans, harbors, and anchorages for years. Be very cautious in returning to your home country. Don’t get me wrong. There will be some good / great things there. For me; the good does not outweigh the bad. Family, friends, comfort food… all great. Noise, a lot of noise, pollution- whether it be light or air; it doesn’t matter. And people, people everywhere. People in cars, in malls, elbow to elbow. I feel like I’m in an alternate reality. Then add to it that society; at least American society is dysfunctional. People can’t discuss things that are important to them anymore. They hide behind platitudes and their bubble memes. Their beliefs are sacrosanct. Capitalism has maximized how to exploit your pocket book. It is one thing to make money, quite another to write your own rules to get more money.

Case in point. We’ve driven for years without any accident. Owned and driven in NZ. Owned and driven in Aus. Bought a car to drive here. No accidents in the last 5 decades of my driving life. But! BUT, since I have not had US insurance on any vehicle for 15 years or so they charge us more! If you have not been suckling at the teet of the insurance industry they will “gouge” you. If you can’t tell, I despise the insurance industry. Yet to drive in the US without insurance is driving on the road to bankruptcy. I look forward to getting off this mouse wheel.


Noise, is constant. Truth: I’ve not been hiding out in a forest. I’ve been visiting friends and family. They often have kids or live in urban areas. Ambulances, police cars, kids having friends over, and contests on who can make the most … noise. I’m sure I was like that as a kid. I don’t begrudge their time. After listening to Mother Nature all these past years there is a point that the noise becomes a bit much. TV’s on all day, the newest pop artist streaming, To me it is more noise. Yeah, I like music, years ago I gave up ear splitting, headache producing music.

I don’t know how the weather is effecting me. I just know that my upper respiratory systems has been toying with me. Not clear and free like most of my time on the boat. I look forward to my return.


People to people. Think you don’t need a vaccine? Think again. People crammed together mean people getting sick. We’ve lost two tennis friends because they bought into the hype that “ Covid” wasn’t a big thing. One event we were at with up to 25 people, 4 became sick. One to the emergency care for good drugs. When cruising, most countries require vaccinations. That helps; as well as there is ample space between cruising people. Yeah, as cruisers we can get sick. For the most part it is mild and far, far apart from the previous time.

And the political situation in the US is a disaster. People have a difficult time talking about things of consequence.. If one is in their same cultural bubble all is good. Get out of it and hell can break loose. People love telling others how to live and don’t follow their own advice. The “Do as I say and not what I do” philosophy is rampant. Don’t get me wrong. I love people, restaurants, good books, movies, and lively conversations. I don’t love having it all shoved down my throat. And so I want to go back. Back to a simpler life, back to where Mother Nature is my muse, my companion, my guide.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

Perceptions

As cruisers I’ve been asked; what has changed since cruising? For years I didn’t have an answer. It is rather like”seeing the forest through the trees”. Now; having been back in the states a few months I am able to suss out an answer; just a wee bit.

Before we left on this adventure we had an almost daily ritual. There is a sea wall in front of our building and it extends down the canal we would motor in and out of. We walked it often. Some might say strolled. In the summer I would jump rope at first light (Sometimes W/ too) and to cool down we / I would walk the sea wall. Many evenings as the Sun was setting we walked the sea wall.

Now that we’re back in our home turf we have returned to some of the old rhythms. We walk the sea wall.

The sea wall has gotten longer! Not physically longer. But my perception is that it is now longer. Obviously it has not been extended, it is my perception that has changed. To make the wall longer I must view time differently. Time has slowed down.

I don’t feel it only on the sea wall. Driving down several of the streets in my hometown; I’ve noticed it too. They are longer. The only explantation I can come up with is that I see time; and space differently. Don’t get me wrong. I have no actual data on this change in me. And the evidence is all anecdotal. But this feeling has dogged me since I’ve been back. It may well be because I sense time differently or it may be due to seeing my place in the Universe from a new vantage. Mother Nature, the oceans, and the heavens taught me something else.

On my past post I said we’d bought a car. Driving is more anxiety prone now. This may be influenced by a few other factors; new car, new shiny things in the car; the manual reads more like a college text, and more cars and trucks. But; I see everyone moving faster, all in a hurry. Before I never took much notice of them. Before maybe; I was the center of the Universe. At least my own Universe. Now I am surrounded by speed; and people. Too, I may drive a bit slower not feeling the need to “beat my neighbor to the next light”. I may too having aged a bit more view time; as some refer to it in the tropics “as elastic”. Whatever it is; my perception has changed. It changed without any conscious – external intervention by me. It changed because I went cruising.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

Out of Body Experience

Yep, after 6 years abroad we bit the bullet and returned to the US. Commuter cruisers have it a bit easier. They cruise for 6 months at a time. But 6 years. Whew.

After close to 24 hours in the air we landed in New York and were found by my nephew’s father in-law in a pack of cars. Truth be told: W/ had the greatest desire to visit family and friends. I’ve been of the opinion that they could visit us! That never seems to work out well. The only visitors we’ve had in 14 years of cruising have been one of my life long friends, Mike; and my mom. Both visited us twice! And Covid struck another friends list. Jim and Sue had tickets to Oz when the pandemic hit. Happily they didn’t lose any money and sadly they didn’t get to see Oz.

Anyway; after completing medical checks in Kuala Lumpur we made the two stop trip to NYC. Clearing in to the US was a non issue. We are after all US citizens. We left the plane and thankfully had wifi. I contacted my nephew. He was our ride. They were near and expected to arrive by the time we had exited with our luggage. Picked up our bags and attempted to contact my nephew again. Either the network was overloaded or the airport doesn’t have free wifi at the terminal entrance. We’re now in a pickle. A big one.

They knew what gate we were at; International arrivals. But the people. Whew! It was like we had been dropped in a can of living Sardines. We looked around hoping to see my nephew. We didn’t see him. W/ stayed with the gear while I looked for a phone card kiosk. Didn’t find one. Looked around for my nephew at the doors. Didn’t find him. I returned to W/ and told her I was going to do a sweep. I walked the length of the terminal inside then headed out to the pickup area. Wall to wall vehicles is all I saw. I wasn’t expecting to find them but maybe; maybe, he would see me wandering. As I made my way back to W/’s terminal exit weaving in and out of the cars, my nephews father in-law (FIL) starts yelling at me. Whew! He said he was looking for a tall guy and saw me wandering between the cars. Together we headed back to my nephew’s vehicle. Once located. Steve (FIL) and I headed back to the terminal; found W/ and hauled our gear to the truck. We have arrived. Tired and safe. Next I need to get a gun! We are after all in the US of A. Just kidding.

Back in the US of A

SIM cards tomorrow! At T-Mobile we pay $50 / month per phone. In Indonesia the cost was much less. And of course as we don’t expect to be dirt dwellers for long we are stuck with the pre paid plans. As far as internet for the computer and tablet, most every place we hang / friends families, AirBnB’s, or hotels have wifi.

The final order of business; was wheels. I researched while in Indonesia. There I narrowed it down to a Hyundai Tucson Limited with grey interior. There weren’t many around. I was scanning the Eastern US. Found one in Tennessee but lost it by a day. That set us back another few days. One was listed near by but then the dealership said it wasn’t certified and they would send it to auction. Found another in Western NY state. Bought that. Rented a car one way. Picked it up drove it back to our nephews. It has all the bells and whistles; meaning all the safety features I wanted. The learning curve is steep. After all, we will be doing another Eastern US circle.

Buying it was easy. Getting it registered and licensed and insured, that’s another issue. We have a lease on a place in Vermont so that is our new “temporary” abode. Back to Vermont twice to get the details taken care of. Finally with the Vermont license we discovered one more “Gotcha”. An inspection. After driving to Vermont the second time and getting the state paperwork completed, I needed an inspection. Damn! One more trip back this time. Maybe not. We will be returning here around the holidays for our families gathering. We can get it then.

Insurance: that was another thing. We’ve been traveling out of the US for 6 years straight. During that time we’ve owned two other vehicles. We bought one in NZ, insured, drove, no accidents and sold it. Same in Australia. But the US insurance market doesn’t care. If you don’t have continuous insurance they want to reach further into your pocket and get more gold. What can we do? With the crazy drivers in the US we need insurance. So I empty my pockets, bit the bullet and sign up.

And for those wondering where I’ve been with my blog; I’m not sharing the general life minutia in the states. I’m limiting the posts to how / what a cruiser could experience. Till then…

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

Cats are Dangerous

Some cats are more dangerous than others. And really, I’m not talking about domestic cats. Although Cat scratch Fever is a thing! I’m talking about Cats people sail the oceans on. A week or so ago a Lagoon 40 ish left Indonesia traveling to Oz. About 4 days later they returned to Medana Bay Marina. What the Hell !

The Plexi is ment to be broken out in emergency. Just not on it’ own!

Turns out; while in rough seas (the boat was doing well) a life threatening event occurred. Today many Catamarans have escape hatches under the bridge on the inside of each hull. I believe the EU demanded they be there “In case the Catamaran flips over”; people can get out of each hull. They are not trapped. You see, when a cat gets overpowered by wind and seas they can flip and will not right themselves. Mono’s on the other hand will pop back up. Not that I wish to try it. Both situations are dangerous. Mono’s can be and have been knocked down, their mast hits the water and because they have a huge amount of weight in the keel they stand back up. Some Cat owner will just say, naw – they’ll simply sink. We know two cruisers in monos’ that have been knocked down. Both boats survived and are sailing today. But; that is not what I”m talking about.

Anyway they were sailing along in some bouncy seas. At 4 am (ish) one of the escape windows came off. It didn’t just open up where you could reclose it. The window disappeared in a few 1,000 feet of water. The window is about 56 cm square. Every time a wave reached the window hundreds of liters of water poured in. The window was less than 50 cm above the static waterline. As luck would have it; one of the crew was off watch and in the berth with the escape hatch. Sea water dousing him was not how he wished to wake up . Imagine several buckets of ocean water being thrown at you every few seconds.

They were fortunate he was there. Otherwise there would have been several tons of water in the boat before anyone noticed. Each cubic meter of water is a metric ton. The crew never mentioned if they had a bilge alarm. And more luck, there were 4 guys aboard. All awake now they worked to stop the water. So much water was entering the boat that the bilge pump couldn’t keep up. While bilge pumps are often rated 2,000 gallons / hour given the lift height to the exhaust outlet they pump much less. Plus as long as the batteries are good the pump is good. So assume it pumps half that rate you only get about 15 gallons / minute or about 100 lbs of water out of the boat every minute. Remember; about every 10 seconds a hundred or more lbs of sea water was cascading in. As they slowed the water ingress with cushions and cabinetry they started a bucket brigade removing the water. Changing the boat course helped to reduce water ingress and gain some control. Once they had won the water war they turned around.

The Al secured in place!

They were only 150 nm or so from Medana and 50 miles or so from a port they could seek shelter and temporary repairs. Again lucky they weren’t two or three days further on. And the stars were closely aligned. The starting battery was in the dry hull and they were able to start the engines. They passed a ship and let off a flare to no effect. No response from the ship! One crew member was able to use the Iridium Go and contact his partner in Australia. She then called the Oz authorities who then called the Indonesian authorities in a worse case scenario. The crew had enough experience to know that by now they were not in danger of sinking. But, they were fighting the seas and wind while attempting to return to port. Their speed was now close to one nautical miles / hour; plus or minus a bit. Fifty hours later they made safe harbor . More paperwork completed – they had recently checked out of Indonesia. Indonesia loves paperwork! They jury rigged an Aluminum plate for the window opening and used 3 tubes of Sikaflex. The harbor master inspected the boat ensuring there was no more safety issues. They now had both openings sealed. Two days later they returned to Medana Bay Marina where they could get hauled out and effect repairs.

A proper hatch but rather small in diameter!

Catamarans are lovely boats. They have enormous elbow room and a place to hide from kids or crew when the need arises. Yet, from my perspective; when offshore Catamarans too often are dangerous.

It is events like this that make me leery of owning one. However; never say never! Instead I will say “not now”. When I was in the tech industry we had a saying “you bleed living on the cutting edge”. In ocean cruising; Cats are the cutting edge.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

Leaving Bali

We came to Bali: 1) To find a real Dermatologist for the cyst on W/s neck, 2) to hang with our old marina mate Dan on Vagabond, and 3) because of its reputation as a great tourist place. We found a good dermatologist and surgeon, and W/ had the cyst removed. Dan finally returned from his world tour by plane and we did a few touristy things. I plan to expand on tourist Bali in a later post.

The hard part was ahead of us. Leaving Bali. We had a comfortable moorage in Bali. We were way, way back in the harbor – out of the swell. We were however near the intermittent burning of the dump. Too we were in line with the garbage floating in and out of the harbor with the tide, and we were in a very nutrient rich basin of water. So much so, that with 3+ weeks of growth the prop was covered with barnacles. How do I know? I snorkeled to clean the prop. While in the water I scanned the growth on the hull and thought “not bad”. Boy was I wrong.

We left at 6 am on an outgoing tide. Motored through the harbor missing some of the permanent sunk wrecks and out through the pass. The day looked great with a light SE breeze. A fellow cruiser suggested sliding up along the Bali coast and then cut over to Gili Air. We were going backwards. We don’t like going backwards, but – the only good Marina near by is back at Lombok. Exiting the harbor we turned north. And we stopped. Not because the engine wasn’t on, not because we couldn’t fill the sails with wind. Because the current was running S along this coast. There are no chart books covering currents in the strait. The app “Windy” displays currents. Our experience is that Windy’s data must be gleaned from the fiction section of the library. The info here never really bores out.

We don’t like pretending to move. So …like any rational person we changed our destination and thus course. We turned E and motored. East was heading into the breeze but it wasn’t enough for concern. However the confluence of the current and winds put our boat speed at about 3 kts. With this engine speed we ought to have been running at 6 kts. But; BUT, we were moving toward our new destination.

As we approached the N side of Nusa Penida. we picked up some speed and the southerly wind swell broke up. We still had messed up chop. In this area there are many fast boats (tourist boats) they create a constant chop. By this time a half the day had passed and I worried about making our new mooring by nightfall. We did have a track out of Gili Gede. That was good because the pearl farms there have a huge amount of bouys floating between the islands. Each bouy supports hundreds of oysters.

We didn’t travel any faster the last 1/3 of the way. Every time we hit 5 kts of speed over the ground I was excited. Nearer sunset we were entering the sounds by Gili Gede. We worked our way around the oyster bouys, keeping an eye on the track we made when leaving. Eleven plus hours after we left Bali we picked up a mooring. But, it was still light outside. We made it, in the light, with no big drama.

The following am we dug out the hooka gear and I grabbed my mask and fins. W/ scrounged up old gloves, a scraper, a green scratch pad and wash rag. I was going to clean the bottom. And wow! Did it need cleaning. After 3 weeks in Bali we had the beginnings of a new reef. The boat bottom was one of the reasons we didn’t make great time. I guess I ought to have cleaned the bottom in Bali. But… the water was so dirty. Here in Gili Gede the water is clean and clear. Tomorrow we head up to Gili Air. A few days hanging with heaps of tourists, then head the last 3 nm and haul out at Medana Bay Marina.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

Bali- First Impressions

I DO NOT like it.

The anchorage / mooring field is like living in an industrial zone. My first impressions are that Indonesia has done an excellent job of creating a split personality tourist destination. The Yin and Yang. The Good and Bad. From the cruising perspective; mine, the cruising part is bad. We will see if that lasts and how long it lasts.

In Labuanbajo from the boat we could get to the city proper easily. Here the city proper is difficult to get to and to even find. Obviously there was NO city planner. A western concept. There are tourist areas and then the Central Business District (CBD) and the rest. Getting to shore is challenging. Dinghy access is problematic taking into consideration the tides and dockage. Where there is dockage there is a great deal of traffic, the majority is tourist. There the high speed boats take groups of tourists. They transit to some of the (other) beautiful Indonesian islands.

Bali is schizophrenic. The tourist stuff is… well … very nice. The resorts, the restaurants, the beaches. We’ve not yet been to the monkey jungle, the waterfall(s) or the rice paddies. What we have done is acclimate ourselves to the harbor, transportation, supplies and medical. W/ needed some skin checks and she’s cleared all those. We found a dermatologist that was excellent. The Dermatologist recommended a surgeon for the growing cyst on her neck and that’s been taken care of. We’ve learned to use private cars and the Gojek transportation system. They have few if any public transports like Bemos here.

I close my eyes when in traffic. Hold my breath during low tide in the harbor and continue to look for Peanut M & M’s. Traffic for westerners is exciting. Much like a video game with few if any rules. The one rule I believe is: don’t ever hit anyone. A good rule. But a scary rule. To cross traffic I hold up my hand and begin walking across. They have cross walks here but they don’t seem to mean anything. As I walk cars will either stop and let me pass or move so as not to knock me off my feet. Some motorcycles will stop; the majority will flow like water around. In a car it seems no one uses mirrors. With the adage of “Don’t hit anyone” they only care about what is in front. The line in the road is a guide, not a rule. It is crossed whenever there is little or no opposing traffic. Bikes and cars will move to give room to any and all comers. At stop lights (there are a few) cars leave room on the outside of the road so bikes can all move to the front. Some cars will leave room in front of them so bikes can work their way around everyone to the front. In the 10 days here I’ve not yet seen a bike even touch a car or another bike. Two were close but not touching! While riding in the Gojek (their taxi) and only a few centimeters away is a bike traveling paralleling us. A FEW CENTIMETERES! As room ahead opens up they zoom off. At intersections cars turn on their 4 way blinkers and ease into the intersection. There are no STOP signs. The only vehicle with priority is the one in front. If you ease forward and get in front then you may cross. All this time bikes may be passing in front, behind and beside you.

Yesterday I watched one bike pull up beside us. She (the driver) was talking to herself the whole time. I don’t know if she was praying or telling herself to stay alert. As we reached an intersection she pulled ahead and I never saw her again.

At Low Water we push though the muck. Dinghy is at the Dock T

The harbor is; well the best way to describe it, a mess. With rain and tides rubbish is picked up from the shore and ends up in the harbor; all floating by. Not a time goes by where as I’m going or coming from the boat I need to avoid floating plastic in the water. Only a few things I’ve not yet seen floating; condoms, baby diapers and dead fish. Maybe I’m not observant enough! Yesterday Dan on Vagabond was slowly motoring and the engine grabbed ahold of a T shirt. At low tide the area smells of rotten eggs. As I dinghy to shore I see bubbles rising from the bottom. The water is always dirty. Mississippi River water is cleaner. The two docks we use to reach shore usually have water access. During King tides we’ve had to push through the mud to reach water deep enough to float the dinghy. As we use the oars to push through we encounter a plethora of obstructions. Not coral. I doubt coral could grow here. And yet on the one dock there are always fishermen. They catch fish that are about 10 cm long. I don’t imagine they eat them, I think they either sell them to the fisherman that go offshore in the spiders or use them as bait.

We’ve found these fishing boats (called Spiders) 25 nm offshore!

While this is to be the “dry” season we’ve had heaps of rain this last week. So much so that one day we need to use the generator to charge the batteries. No Sun for three days depletes our battery bank. Looks like today I will need to run it again for an hour.

The hardest working crew Elysum has had

Before we head out we hope to add a layer of varnish to our exterior wood and see a little of the tourist Bali. Dan on Vagabond has been here over 6 months and knows the places to go. We’ll use him as our tour guide. Dayat (a local Indonesian waterman) has already shined all our stainless. An excellent worker. We expect to use his assistance as we go about the varnish job. But right now we wait. During all this we went to a travel agency and have tickets back to the states. We’ll head first to Kuala Lumpur (KL) and get our annual medical checks completed. They are extremely thorough in KL. After that we fly to NYC via Doha: I say “yuck” and W/ cheers. Not against me but for heading back to the “Land of Instant Everything”.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

A Mini Break

We decided to take a couple days off. Off from daily moving. The Book of Lies (Adam Scott’s Cruising Guide to Indonesia) had a suggestion. Ironically, this one panned out. There was a cut in the reef and a protected pool in which to anchor. We wove our way in and anchored off to the edge in plenty of water. A local fisherman had dropped his pick in the middle and appeared to be taking a nap! What a life eh? 🙂 Thus we were constrained a bit.

A Lovely Quite Anchorage

That afternoon we dinghied to the small beach for a look around. There were some unused park facilities. Westerners might well say dilapidated. That was about it. I flew the drone for more practice time. We nosed around a bit and then dinghied back to Elysium.

The following day we did some dinghy exploring and tooled over some lovely coral. We thought a cool swim would be a great afternoon activity. However we never did find the same beautiful coral patch. Next time I’ll take the GPS with me. All that sounds like work. Adventures are in the discoveries, eh? We dinghied to where we thought it was, jumped in and I towed the dinghy while W had freedom. Exploring at her leisure. There were a lot of tropicals, beautiful corals and no editable fish. I didn’t see one fish over 20 cm. How Indonesia can continue to survive as a fishing economy is beyond me. Everywhere we travel there are heaps of fishermen with their nets out. Night and Day. We swam about 1/2 way back to Elysium then decided to take the easy road. Jumped in the dinghy and motored back. I checked the entrance to our anchor pool and back on the boat we went. Clean up and do what cruisers do, rest, read, nap. The afternoon was a breeze. 🙂

The following day another cruiser pulled in. We had a great evening sharing stories and watching the Sunset. He was heading back to Australia (the hard way) stopping to surf along the way. We will be heading to Medana Bay wanting to check the haul out facilities and marina. That is a rare place in Indo. A marina and a place to haul out. We expect to haul there and then return to the states for some R n R. Not that we don’t have any R n R on board. But being in the Land of Instant everything with family and old friends (no pun) is simply a different way to fill the soul.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

Badas, For Real

Some names are even funny to the locals. We stopped at a place called Fak Fak and even when the locals said it they had to chuckle. Now we’re heading to Badas expecting a comfortable anchorage. And we did get that. However the town wasn’t within walking or dinghy distance. This is an active shipping port.

We moved deep into the harbor and a local waterman suggested where to anchor. Not one to argue with local knowledge we heeded his advice. After all, we can always move. The depth was manageable, 5 meters and calm. We didn’t yet know about Mossies (mosquitos). We settled in, W/ dug up lunch, I set the forward awning and our waterman stopped by in his tinny (small aluminum boat). Introductions were made and we invited him aboard. We asked a lot of questions. Not all the answers were to our liking. We needed to hire a car to get stocked up on our stores and find a market. His daughter would take care of our laundry; of course we would pay her, and he could dispose of our garbage. We hoped in an environmentally acceptable standard. That doesn’t always happen in developing nations.

The following am we had a car. We picked up Borak (our new Indonesian friend) at the boat he was working / living on. With his directions we headed to where we would meet the car. By Indo standards it was expensive. Initially he asked how much we had been paying and that seemed fair. Then he said he could get a car… for double that price. We hedged. We ended up paying 50% more than usual. In the end we paid 300,000 Rp for two hours. Not wanting to leave the dinghy at the waterfront Borak suggested he take it back to his place. We would call him when we returned.

The Grocery was well stocked and a long way from the harbor. The majority of our consumables we were able to find there. Of course, I’m still having an issue with sweets! So far, everywhere we’ve been in Indonesia I’ve not found Peanut M&M’s. I have found Toblerone; but not here. I have enough I hope, to make it to Bali. I often tell people I don’t have a “Sweet Tooth”, I have “Sweet Teeth”!

After the grocery we hit the fresh market. W/ was able to find the veggies she wanted and our driver assisted in some of the money translation. It worked out well. Back to our drop off place, call Borak and unload our goodies. That evening Borak returned with our Laundry, nice and clean with minimal perfume. It seems that in Indonesia the majority of the laundered goods have been washed in a heavy perfumed soap. We gave him a a nice tip for his time, advice, and extra money to cover the Laundry. He was happy, we were happy and ready to retire for the evening.

Both nights as we were heading off to our berth the fishermen came out. They had a light on the bow of their small boats to attract fish. Then they laid out their nets. Each night there were three such groups. They spent all evening enticing fish with the light, surrounding them with a net and hauling in their catch. They were quiet. As there were not Mossies that found us, the ports were open and we could hear anything happening outside.

In the am they would be pulling in their final catch and head to shore. With all the fishing I am actually amazed there are any fish left. Like any liquid, I guess when fish in one area are caught others move in to replace them. Some in the government / scientific community recognize the problem. Indonesia is being overfished. Of course Indonesia has a lot of people to feed. The locals have told us that their grandfathers hauled in fish that were a meter long. Their fathers hauled in fish that were smaller; say 50 cm long (about 2 feet) . Today, whenever we see fish drying, fish caught; generally they are all less than 30 cm. Banda had a conference (the Spice Islands) while we were there. The focus “Over fishing”. Education is important. People must eat. In the years to come there will be a huge question for Indonesia to answer. How to feed a population that lives on dwindling fisheries?

We picked up the anchor and slowly motored out of the harbor. Rounding the bend and heading along the coast towards Lombok we came across the day fishermen. Every km or so they had nets strung across the reef. These fishermen and their nets went on for as long as we were on the coast here. As we crossed to the Island of Lombok we passed out of the net mine field.

The straits were getting to be more knowable. Every strait here has unpredictable currents. Every one! Depending on the tides there is a N or S flow. Depending on the bottom configuration there are often whirlpools and eddies. Large enough that Elysium’s shoved off course by 20º or more. As we reached Lombok we saw a large area of standing waves. At first we were not sure what was happening. Charts in Indonesia are not accurate. Reefs extend farther out than charts show, Islands may to be off by not only meters, but a mile or more. We changed course and approached cautiously, staying in deeper water.

I climbed up on our mast pulpit to get a better view. I saw no shallow water. Here the water is so clear that the water color will give me a good indication of the depth. All deep water. We kept going. Our trusty Perkins kept us chugging along right through the chop. We were paralleling the N shore of Lombok. The majority of fishermen were gone and we motored to an anchorage suggested by the Book of Lies (Andy Scotts Cruising Indonesia Guide). For once he was right.

I can’t say spot on. Those familiar with cruising guides in the Caribbean would know the difference. Caribbean guides have bearings for an approach, depths along the way, and lat/long for anchorage’s and ports. All the Book of lies has are positions and all too often something isn’t right with them. So often the bottom isn’t correct or the anchorage isn’t safe in this season. But; we listen to; read, all information and learn to be leery of some. We made it into a beautiful, calm anchorage, surrounded by reef, and dropped the hook. Later we would explore a lovely beach that was off the bow. A fisherman was repairing his nets in his boat. We settled in for a few days. I looked forward to flying the drone and getting some new images of the Anchorage.

Next stop is where we expect to haul Elysium. We’ll stop there and check it out. We’ll make sure she’ll be safe and then on to Bali. There we will secure our plane fare back to the states. It’s time to line up our Ducks and stop juggling. We are still not sure exactly how everything will play out. We just know from experience that it will.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long